Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirteenth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
A song from a Superman musical was the theme song to a top TV news show for years.
Bob Holiday, who played Superman/Clark Kent in the 1966 Broadway musical, “It’s a Bird — It’s a Plane–It’s Superman!” passed away recently at the age of 84.
In respect of Bob’s passing and in honor of his life, reader Allen R. wrote in with a fascinating piece of information about the musical.
Now, you may or may not know that the musical did not do particularly well (don’t feel bad for the guys behind the show, as Charles Strouse and Lee Adams had a lot more success with the next comic character that they adapted into a musical – Little Orphan Annie). However, it had a surprising legacy in the world of television news.
You see, WTOP-TV Channel 9 in Washington DC took a piece of the overture from the musical and it ran as their theme song for over a DECADE!
WTOP-TV had one of the top news teams in the country (Along with New York City, DC anchors tend to be well-respected across the country, due to the whole “capital of the country and center of the government” thing).
They started using it as their theme for all their news shows in 1972 and stopped using it around 1982/83.
I’m sure millions of viewers over the years never realized that they were listening to music from a Superman musical whenever they watched the evening news!
Thanks to Allen for the suggestion – it’s a very nice tribute to Bob Holiday.
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: How Did The Simpsons Deal With a Whiny Baseball Guest Star?
OK, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!
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